Today, around 3.5 billion people are connected to the mobile internet, but over half the world’s population still remain offline and over 750 million people are not covered by mobile broadband networks. Closing the mobile coverage gap is primarily an economic challenge. Uncovered populations typically live in rural locations with low population densities, low per-capita income levels and weak or non-existent enabling infrastructure. This course considers the challenges and opportunities that the public and private sectors face in bringing coverage to the uncovered, thereby giving them access to greater social and economic opportunities.

Course Objectives

  • Explore the role of the government and the private sector in improving connectivity.
  • Understand how innovation and infrastructure sharing can help bridge the coverage gap.
  • Learn about best practices in policy and regulation to foster investment in rural networks.
  • Learn from examples of successful rural coverage projects.

Course Enrolment Criteria

This course is open to:

  • Regulators
  • Policymakers
  • Representatives from academia and international organisations working on regulatory or policy issues

We cannot accept applications from individuals working in the private sector or those not involved in policy or regulation.

Course Completion Certificates

All of our courses are certified by the United Kingdom Telecoms Academy (UKTA) and can be used as evidence of professional development.

To qualify for a course completion certificate, you must view all the course sessions and answer correctly all the quiz questions you will find as you progress through the sessions. You will also need to fill out the course survey.

You do not have to complete a final project to earn a course completion certificate but we strongly encourage you to create one. Putting together a final project will give you an opportunity to reflect on the principles covered during the course and help you discover how they could be applied to your own country. If you submit a final project the course trainer will provide you with valuable feedback that you may find useful in your day-to-day work.

Course Structure and Study Time

The course consists of five sessions and you will gain access to all of them on the course start date. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about the content of the course during a live chat session as well as on the course forum.

It should not take you more than two to three hours of study time per week to complete the course in three weeks. You will have, however, six weeks to complete it. If after six weeks you have not completed the course, you will have to start it again next time it is offered.

If you decide to submit a final project, it will probably take you four to six hours to put it together. You will have six weeks to submit your final project.


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Duration: 3 weeks
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Melle Tiel Groenestege
Director Policy and Advocacy, GSMA

Melle Tiel Groenestege is Director Policy and Advocacy of the Digital Inclusion programmes at the GSMA, the trade association representing the interests of over 750 mobile operators and the broader ecosystem worldwide. He works on policies and advocacy campaigns to address the barriers to mobile internet adoption, expanding mobile broadband coverage and bridging the digital gender divide.

Prior to joining the GSMA, Melle was responsible for Government Relations at the headquarters of VEON, one of the largest telecommunication providers active in emerging markets. Before joining VEON, Melle worked at the International Telecommunications Union on corporate strategy, focusing on the role of digital technologies in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.



Andrea Guajardo Macías
Partnerships and Delivery Manager, GSMA

Andrea is partnerships and delivery manager for the GSMA’s Capacity Building programme. Based in Santiago, Chile, Andrea manages the GSMA Capacity Building online training courses delivery to regulators and policy makers worldwide and leads capacity building partnerships with the World Bank, ITU, among others.
She holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, a Bachelor’s degree in Education in English from the University of Santiago of Chile, a Diploma in International Relations, and a Diploma in Women and Global Public Policy from the University of Chile.

For any queries about our course catalogue, please send us an enquiry.